Is expensive skin care better?

What is the difference between expensive beauty products and over-the-counter brands? Many people would go straight for a pricier brand thinking it will yield better results. What are we really paying for?

The Business of Pretty

When a new skin care line is launched the brand is also deciding their target market and their price point. It is not solely based on the cost of ingredients in their formulations, it is also where they would like to be sold and the image they would like to portray. We all know that drugstore products cost significantly less than spa/salon and department store brands. This reputation has been marketed to consumers to think that expensive automatically equals better. Fortunately, for us consumers that is not always the case! There is definitely "business" added in the cost of pretty.

Formulation + Ingredients

It's hard to say for sure if a $500 moisturizer will work better for your skin than a $50 brand, but I can tell you a few things. As an "ingredient junkie" I can say without a doubt you should not judge a product by its price tag. Some of the best products I have ever used professionally and personally had a reasonable price tag. 

Plain and simple, it's all about ingredients and the formulation, plus being an educated consumer. Some ingredients do cost more money to extract or obtain and some do not. For example mineral oil is a cheap ingredient that is a refined version of petroleum. A 400-pound drum cost $346.00. While a 400-pound drum of rose absolute essential oil cost $37,674. See the difference? It's true, in some ways you get what you pay for, however, I don't think you need to spend your entire paycheck for a few quality skin care products. There are definitely ways to be an educated consumer and pick great products without spending a ton of money.

You may be also paying for clinical research, packaging and advertising. Since most companies do not publish such clinical research unless it's favorable to them, there is no reason to pay extra.

Finding the best value

Finding the best bang for your buck is really about educating yourself. You can absolutely find quality ingredients and formulations that are effective in products that actually work. Many "cheap" ingredients usually are added to make the product glide on the skin, they make the product feel and smell nice which is a selling point for a lot of people. However, if you care about quality they are not necessary.

Ingredients to avoid:

+ Petroleum
+ Artificial fragrance and phthalates
+ Artificial coloring/dyes
+ No silicones or sulfates
+ Parabens

Great ingredients to look for:

+ Essential oils
+ Hyaluronic acid
+ Nourishing oils such as hemp seed, jojoba, rose hip, avocado etc.
+ Vitamins such as A, B, C and E.

Where to spend

There are some steps in your skin care routine that you can definitely cut costs on. For example, in my opinion, a product that is worth spending money on is facial serum. The reason being is you will be receiving the most concentrated result driven ingredients which will yield the most significant results. While using an appropriate facial cleanser for your skin type is important, it really is a product that is on and off your face in a matter of a minute and washes right down the drain. I don't think using a $50 face wash is absolutely necessary!

Another area you may want to consider cutting costs on is moisturizer. Ekkkk! I know, I know that may be a scary thought since moisturizer is one of the staple products that generally the most money is spent on. However, if you are using a high-quality antioxidant serum underneath your moisturizer all you are doing is locking that serum in. Why spend $100+ on a moisturizer if all you really need is something that is made for your skin type, has sunscreen for the day-time and contains no fragrance, parabens etc?

Bottom line, day/night serums and eye creams are where to shell out the cash. Everything else can be quality ingredients, appropriate for your skin type and conditions but cost mid range.